Center for Western Priorities Facebook
Center for Western Priorities Twitter
Center for Western Priorities Videos


Winning the West: Election 2016

How public lands and the outdoor economy became wedge issues in key races

Mountain West states were a political force in the 2016 election, hosting a number of competitive statewide and congressional races. While energy development has long been a prominent topic in Western races, in this cycle the outdoor recreation economy and public lands conservation became wedge issues in a number of key contests.

Across the West, voters have consistently referred to the outdoors and conservation as key aspects of their quality of life. Increasingly, voters also agree that the national public lands are a vital economic driver, strengthening outdoor recreation businesses and attracting new industries. At the same time, a far-right movement has pushed for these public lands to be transferred to state and private hands.

In the new report, Winning the West, the Center for Western Priorities examines key races in Montana, Colorado and Nevada, finding that candidates across the political spectrum tried to stake out positions supporting the continued federal ownership of public lands.

Download button

Latest News

@WstrnPriorities on Twitter

7 hours ago
"He's more like a mad king. And this monarch has control over the crown jewels of America's #publiclands. They are not in safe hands." @SecretaryZinke
-via @nytegan
8 hours ago
"There is no scenario in which the United States could become self-sufficient — much less 'energy dominant' — in uranium." @MiriamWasser
8 hours ago
How the Grand Canyon could be the next target for uranium mining:

Trump administration ignores market realities and endangers tribes and the Colorado River.
WstrnPriorities photo
8 hours ago
Walter Cruickshank, acting director of @Interior's BOEM contradicts @SecretaryZinke on Florida offshore drilling exemption. #FlipFlop (


Secretary Zinke must enforce the law, confiscate Bundy’s illegal cows

Will the Interior Department be a “good neighbor” or Cliven’s doormat?...

January 9th, 2018

The Trump administration gave presents to oil and gas companies; taxpayers got a lump of coal

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke kept himself busy while while you were on vacation....

January 2nd, 2018

Photos: Drilling America’s Heritage

Under Secretary Ryan Zinke, the Interior Department has become a rubber stamp for the oil and gas industry. A recent...

December 18th, 2017